Remembering Tina Downey


Technically, I think posting the picture up there, using the title I used and promoting this post with the hashtag – #LifeisGood is all I really needed to do. My blog world friend and supporter @damyantig helped organize this tribute to Tina Downey, who passed away on August 23rd. Ironically, just before reading Damyanti’s post asking people to pay this small tribute to Tina, I had stopped to take these pictures of sunflowers. The upper one, the one that is there for Tina, was the view out my passenger side window when I stopped. I hope that photo helps to achieve the desired effect. The collection of sunflowers seemed to represent a wide variety of emotions.

imageThe photo to the left is for the rest of you, the writers, bloggers, friends of Tina and friends of mine. I look at the almost endless row of sunflowers, and I see my peers, my friends and the people to whom I am connected through this community of writing.

I didn’t know Tina.

In the pure sense of the word, I don’t know Damyanti, but she’s my friend. True, we’ve never met. We may never meet, but I know her. I know her through her beautiful writing. I know her through her thoughtful comments. I know her through her supportive outreach to me and other writers and bloggers. I follow and I am inspired by a cadre of writers, authors, poets, photographers and artists. I relish the fact that many of them have chosen to welcome me into their company. That’s why I am remembering Tina.

I have read a number of Tina’s posts, mostly those associated with or that were a part of the A-to-Z Challenge. Tina was one of the organizers of that amazing event. If you aren’t familiar, the A-to-Z Challenge is a marathon blogging event during which people write something every day except Sunday throughout the month of April. I followed Damyanti and several other participants, there were over 2,000! Reading the daily production was time-consuming. I cannot imagine the effort involved in writing the 26 posts, let alone the 26 bits of original flash fiction some writers managed to produce.

In her request, Damyanti said:

If you didn’t know Tina – celebrate this Blogfest as a day of choosing to be joyful – a choice Tina Downey made, despite all her suffering, every day of her life.”

I can do that. I hope that you can join me.

I want to express my sorrow to Tina’s family. I only know you thought Tina’s words, but I feel that I know you well. I hope that my thoughts and prayers can add some measure of comfort to you during this sad time.

If you want to know more about Tina, I recommend her introduction page on the A-to-Z Challenge. I think that’s the way she wanted people in this community to know her.

About Dan Antion

Husband, father, woodworker, cyclist, photographer, geek - oh wait, I’m writing this like I only have 140 characters. I am all those things, and more, and all of these passions present me with opportunities to observe, and think about things that I can’t write about in other places. I have started this blog to catch the stuff that falls out, overflows and just plain doesn’t fit the other containers in my life.
This entry was posted in Absent Friends, Joy, Prompt and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to Remembering Tina Downey

  1. Sammy D. says:

    This is lovely, Dan. I thought I’d cried all the tears I have for Tina. Those were tears of sorrow.

    Now I see after reading a mere 2 tributes that today will be a free-flow, but they are tears of joy accompanied by songs of friendship that will carry Tina with us. Connections deep and strong are the treasure of our community.


  2. You are very good at finding the right words to pay tribute to someone who has left us, Dan. I didn’t know Tina and wasn’t part of the A to Z challenge, but like you write above, there are people I like very much through blogging. The way we communicate has changed a lot, and yes, sometimes virtual friends matter as much as the people we physically know. So I’m sure that today many bloggers who knew Tina must feel sad since they have lost a friend.
    Sunflowers are a lovely symbol of beauty and hope on earth. Peace to Tina and many thanks to the blogging community for bringing so many different people together through our words, photos and artwork.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Damyanti says:

    Dan, you say so much, with such few words.
    Thank you for taking me up on my call for honoring Tina, and for celebrating the joy that she brought through her life to all of us.

    Thank you also for your kind words about me. I don’t ‘know’ you either, but in reading through your writing, and through the internet exchanges we continue to have, I feel I do know you. I know of your empathy, of your views on life (which I’ve always found myself in agreement with, so far!) and you’re my friend too. I’ll never forget your support throughout the AZ Challenge– it was a very trying time for me, personally, and your support meant more than you’ll ever know.

    Thank you for being you, and thank you once again for joining me in celebrating my sister in spirit, who was a friend to so many. I read each new tribute to her and I cry another bucket.

    I’m a mess today, but I don’t think I mind that much :)

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Sherry Ellis says:

    Nice! I’m glad you chose to participate in this tribute to a beautiful soul!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s funny how sometimes friends are people you have never met, I had talked with Tina several times in the past… she was helping me with my own “private hell”, she stayed supportive. I know we all will miss her charm, passion and snarky humor. THANK YOU!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It reminds me that you and I only knew each other for 6 years or so until me met in Cincinnati. Thank goodness we got on well together.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      Very well indeed. One of the best things has been getting to know you. I am especially happy that I was able to visit you on your side of the ocean. I hope to be able to do that again.


  7. Rachael Charmley says:

    This is lovely, Dan. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dan Antion says:

      This was an easy thing to do Rachael. The community of bloggers is so special and means so much.


      • Rachael Charmley says:

        Yes.It has taught, and continues to teach me a lot about us as a species and the value of human relationships. In this time when our planet is literally ‘on fire’ with violence and hatred, it helps redress the balance: we can be a wonderfully kind and compassionate species too.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Tina did so much behind the scenes of the Challenge – you just can’t imagine. The least we could do was organize this tribute to her.


  9. Your photos are just lovely as well as your post.
    Thank you,

    Liked by 1 person

  10. jlennidorner says:

    I think in today’s world of blogging, we’ve expanded our definitions of “friend” and “know him/her.” I feel connected to people I’ve never broken bread with offline.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What lovely pictures and a sincere & heartfelt post!
    Thank you!
    Nice to meet you, Dan.
    Life is good!
    Writer In Transit

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Dan, what a beautiful way of honoring Damyanti’s request. Your tribute is a testament to the value you place on the friendship, even though you don’t know Damyanti. Your lovely sunflowers will bring some measure of light into your readers’ lives. We are all connected through our words in the world of blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. wow those are a ton of sunflowers and wonderful tribute. nice to meet you through Tina


  14. LadyPinkRose says:

    What a beautiful tribute to Tina, Dan. It is my loss I did not know her. Yet the many who did know her, I feel their pain at their loss. It is not easy saying goodbye, yet from what you wrote here, Tina suffered, and now she is at last free. For this those who miss her can rejoice. Love, Amy


  15. kcg1974 says:

    So beautifully written, Dan. A wonderful tribute to Tina. How I wish that I had known her as well. Yes, surely I will visit the link you so generously provided in her memory. God’s blessings to her family at home and here at Wordpess.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. reocochran says:

    The rows of those sunny sunflowers are great, they make me think of people standing as the person’s casket passes, with their best clothes on, their smiles and warmth trying to help and comfort Tina’s family. You did this person a great job in ‘sending them off,’ with such loving tribute. I think this was one of the nicest posts I have seen today. Thanks! Sorry that I didn’t know Tina either…

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Peter Nena says:

    You did great, Dan. Honoring Tina with those wonderful flowers.
    Have a great weekend, man.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. hilarymb says:

    Hi Dan – sounds like you helped Damyanti so much during her difficult period … I don’t know her that well .. .but Tina and I had a great rapport … as I was one of her minions through the last 3 A-Zs … so we nattered happily over the net … and really connected. Her passing is a huge shock and she will be missed hugely by so many of us …. thanks for joining us – cheers Hilary


  19. dweezer19 says:

    A lovely remembrance Dan. I saw Damyanti’s post but did not know Tina myself. My condolences to her family and friends, i am sure the blogging community will miss her greatly as well. Funny, I have been strangely drawn to sunflowers of late. They are so very encouraging..


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